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Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) and the IoT

The GUI Is Dead, Long Live The VUI

Voice Interface Technology and Internet of Things (IoT) devices have been on the market for a number of years. While IoT is being adopted by consumers and companies at a rapidly increasing rate, Voice User Interfaces (VUIs) are fast emerging as a revolutionary technology, and together are shaping both corporate and lifestyle markets.

What Is A VUI?

A voice user interface (VUI) is a system that allows spoken human interaction with computers. VUIs typically use speech recognition intended to understand spoken requests from the user and are also able to answer these requests through text or voice outputs. The biggest advantage of a VUI is that it allows you a hands-free, eyes-free way to interact with a product while focusing your attention elsewhere.

VUI gives a platform for more efficient interactions which are more personal than any other form of the user interface such as typing on the keyboard since speech is the primary means of human communication. Voice user interfaces have become particularly popular in society over the past decade, especially for smartphone use. They are also integrated into recent automobiles, computers, home appliances such as washing machines. A VUI is, therefore, an interface to a speech application. It allows controlling a machine or website by language only.

How Do VUIs Work?

VUIs use speech recognition to allow users to engage with technology using voice commands. The development of natural speech recognition and text-to-speech synthesis has allowed the popular adoption of several voice interfaces. This allows a full human-to-machine interaction without the traditional mouse or keyboard, as the world becomes increasingly fast-paced and information-dense. Keyboards can work for text-intensive tasks like writing a blog article, but for simple tasks like searches, post updates, adjusting controls, and getting directions, people prefer the speech-to-text convenience. They can save time by skipping many steps, for example, typing in an address on a small screen. For the experience to function flawlessly, VUIs often work together with tap and swipe technologies to create a better user experience. 

How The IoT Enhances VUIs

VUIs and IoT can go hand in hand. Throughout recent years, there have been so many IoT devices that have been benefited from a VUI.  These technologies are made for each other as both of them were created to make devices & interaction automated yet intuitive. The type of fluidity that has been achieved happened over time but multiple devices prove the upper statement. It creates a more immersive experience for a user and provides technology that the majority of people are able to operate. 

How VUIs & IoT Benefit From An Alliance

A lot of devices, utilise both IoT and VUI. The reason is simple, the combination of these two are inseparable. Some examples of these beneficial pairings include: 

Cisco Webex Voice Assist: This VUI to the leading remote collaboration platform allows the voice-driven virtual assistant to create calls, meetings and device controls seamlessly. Enabling a truly smart office experience through a single intelligent VUI backed by countless enterprise system connectors.

Google Home Voice Controller: One of Google’s most popular devices to date. This device can control your home control alarms, light thermostats, volume control etc. 

Amazon Echo: It is another range of devices that work quite similar to that of Google Home. It is a range of smart speakers that can work as your virtual assistant. The primary input taken by Amazon Echo devices are voice commands. 

Kuri Mobile Robot: This one is a smart robot that is intended for entertainment purposes. It comes with a decent processor, It can play music and dance, as well as performing other tasks. It uses voice commands to do everything.

Philips Hue Bulb: Philips offers a variety of great electrical appliances and Philips Hue is one of its famous entries in the IoT world. The bulb allows you to sync with music, gets you access to a whole colour palette, and can be controlled wirelessly. The bulb can also be controlled using voice and is capable of creating the right ambience.

August Smart Lock: This system allows you to unlock your door from anywhere.  Also, the device offers universal voice compatibility. The installation of the device is pretty simple and it works seamlessly with Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.

The above devices are just a handful of systems that show how IoT and VUIs have great compatibility. If you would like to discuss how we use VUIs in our IoT platforms, please contact us for more information today


Brian McGlynn, Davra, COO

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